Paddington Waterside, Westminster
A 21st-century mixed-use development situated in the vicinity of Paddington station and the Paddington branch of the Grand Union Canal
This is one of the largest schemes – a so-called Opportunity Area – that the capital has seen since the regeneration of Docklands. Most of the new building has taken place north of the station but the 80-acre Paddington Waterside ‘footprint’ takes in the station itself, new and old parts of St Mary’s Hospital and existing buildings stretching from Eastbourne Terrace to the Hilton Metropole hotel on Edgware Road.
Outline planning permission for the transformation of the former Paddington goods yard was granted in 1992 but its implementation was delayed by the downturn in the London property market.
Construction began in 2000 but the ultimate form of the whole Waterside development is yet to be finalised and work may continue until 2018. Westminster council rejected a plan for the 42-storey Grand Union Building, nicknamed the Paddington Eye, because it was inappropriately massive for the neighbourhood and the structure will now rise to 29 storeys.
The first phase of the Sheldon Square office complex at Paddington Central opened in 2002. Marks and Spencer moved its headquarters from Baker Street to Waterside House in 2004.
More than 1,100 residential units have been built and as many more are in the pipeline.
Algernon Newton’s 1925 painting Paddington Basin, now in the art gallery at Brighton Pavilion, earned him the nickname ‘the Regent’s Canaletto’.